TRIPOLI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Friday that 74 refugees were evacuated Thursday and Friday from Libya to Niger.
"UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, evacuated during the night of Dec. 14-15, 74 vulnerable refugees, the vast majority children and women, from Libya to Niger," UNHCR said in a statement.
"With the support of UNHCR's partners in Niger, these refugees, all Eritrean or Somali nationalities, will be accommodated in guesthouses in Niamey," it added.
UNHCR also praised the support of the European Commission in "this life-saving evacuation mechanism."
Also on Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said another group of 718 illegal immigrants were repatriated from Libya to their African countries of origin.
The organization and the Libyan authorities have launched a humanitarian repatriation program to repatriate immigrants detained in Libyan shelters to their countries of origin.
Libya is a major departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean toward European shores, due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African nation.